The last time Rotherham United and Ipswich Town met, the Millers gave Mick McCarthy’s Championship pace-setters a torrid test for 84 minutes.
Don’t take my word for it. At the time the Town boss himself described the September 27 clash as their toughest match of the season so far.
Sadly, the home side had scored twice in the opening six minutes at Portman Road and all Rotherham’s subsequent efforts counted for nothing in a 2-0 defeat.
Whatever happens tomorrow in the return fixture at AESSEAL New York Stadium, Millers manager Steve Evans will have emphasised to his players the importance of making a better start!
His side now, with a win and a draw in their last two outings, is much stronger than the one which battled gamely in East Anglia, after five new arrivals in January.
One of those, striker Conor Sammon, played for Ipswich in that game against the Millers. Evans never forgot the problems the big man caused with his size, pace and mobility and is delighted to now have the Republic of Ireland international among his own players.
Sammon is expected to partner Matt Derbyshire up front again tomorrow after the pair scored in the 4-2 win against Bolton and then looked dangerous again together in last Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Charlton.
“Matt has good experience. We’re judged on goals and I hope we can be a threat together,” Sammon said.
The 28-year-old, on loan for the rest of the season. has won over Millers fans with his displays in his first three matches for the club and is relishing starting regularly after an unfulfilling time at parent club Derby.
“I was frustrated there,” he admitted. “I was coming on for just five or 10 minutes.”
Then, encapsulating the honest, committed approach which has impressed the New York faithful, he added: “You can go one of two ways. You can sulk or you can work even harder.”
Another January new boy, Danny Ward, pressed his claims for a start by coming off the bench to score his first Millers goal at Charlton.
“It was a weight off my shoulders because, coming in as an attacking player, your job is to create and score goals,” he said.
“It was nice to get off the mark and hopefully I can push on now.”
Evans has to decide whether to hand a first start to Jack Hunt who caught the eye as a sub at the Valley in the first match of his loan spell.